(this is a half finished post about Glastonbury 2013 – someday, I might bother writing about this year’s festival..)
…on music, that is.
Ah, Glastonbury. It already feels like too long ago. Despite that, since getting back into my routine, I have enjoyed reflecting on my second favourite Glastonbury ever.
This year had it all: friends, fun, frolics, and Foals. But regretfully, I didn’t see the latter.. never mind, next time.
While I may not have seen Oxford’s latest exports, I did pack an awful lot of fun into the rest of the weekend. And in between, I even managed to sneak in seeing 25 (yes, 25!) different musical acts.
Sunit and I headed down on the Wednesday morning at the slightly more socialable than normal 7.30am. We were booked on the 09:30 coach from Victoria. Despite being there in good time, we didn’t get going till 10 – long queues. Still, the delay at the start paid off as the journey from there on in was the smoothest I’d ever known. We were offloading our bags at the other end not long after 1.15pm.
We got pitched up and headed out for a wander. The first ciders, obtained at the Bimble Inn in The Park, were some of the finest of the weekend. Later that evening we headed for the Beat Hotel. More drinks and some pretty rubbish music ensued, but this was the calm before the storm.
Thursday got off to a slow start. From memory, we ambled round the site a bit before heading over to see The Mighty Peas. Yet again, we missed some of their set, but I still enjoyed the three or four songs we managed to catch. Next year we’ll definitely catch their full set!
Then – it started raining. It wasn’t biblical, but it was a stong enough shower to force us to take cover. We headed for The Queens Head, near the bandstand. The tennis was on, but I wasn’t paying that much attention. As the rain continued, the evening went on and we eventually ended up at the Copper Dollar.
For the unaquainted, the Copper Dollar was a place in The Common where the undead were celebrated and a good time was guaranteed by all. In fact, you were pretty much forced to get up and shake your bones, whether you were dead or not. The music was great, the rum was flowing, and in summary it was great, great fun – and the perfect place to dry off to boot!
Thankfully, Thursday was the only day it rained and Friday got off to a bright start. On our way to see Haim, I thought I heard the dulcet tones of Liam Gallagher belting out some Oasis numbers on the Other Stage. Yep, Beady Eye had taken the opening ‘TBC’ slot on the Other Stage. I’m afraid their own stuff really doesn’t float my boat, and it’s rather a sad indictment that they have to play more and more Oasis songs to get a gig.
Haim – on the Pyramid Stage – weren’t too bad. Comprised of three sisters and a male drummer, it was their bassist who seemed to engage most with the crowd. Their single was the standout track, and some of what they played had a distinct air of album filler about it, but they show a certain amount of promise.
Next up was Jake Bugg, and he was probably my biggest disappointment of the weekend. His brand of self-penned, acoustic led music was rather lost on the large audience gathered at the Pyramid Stage. Many were here for his singles, but I suspect, like me – a relative newcomer to his music – they went away disappointed.
From inoffensive tunes to full on post-punk savagery – Savages put on a hell of a show in William’s Green. Musically, they were excellent, and a far cry from the comparitively snail paced tunes that Jake Bugg bought to the Pilton party. Ones to watch, for sure.
After Savages came the first band I was really look forward to of the day – Lumineers. They were well worth the wait. They really engaged with the swollen crowd. Throwing caution to the wind, they played their big hit (Ho Hey) merely four songs through the set. They still had some cracking tunes to treat the large audience to though – including a section where they went into the crowd to perform a few songs, and a decent cover of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues to boot, so no one left disappointed.
After the enlightening Lumineers came The Milk. I went to them solely on my friend Sunit’s recommendation, and despite turning up late, they were pretty good! They played pretty soulful songs and were perfectly tolerable, even if they did sound a lot like Maroon 5.
Next up: Alt-J. This was another act I was really looking forward to. They played for a good length of time, and unlike the similarly paced – if not similarly sounding The XX – their music really translates well to the live arena. They played one of the most changed covers of the weekend: a mashup of Kylie’s Slow with an underlying, heavy dose of Dr. Dre. It wasn’t great, but it made a nice change!
After that, Sunit and I went our separate ways. I was keen to checkout some of Seasick Steve, which I enjoyed with a decent Pear Cider from the Brothers Bar. I’m always amazed by the sounds Steve generates from his ramshackle instruments.
Shortly after, Sunit, Vicky, Jenny and I reunited and we got set to dance our socks of to Chic. While we were slightly far away from the action, it was a real party atmosphere, and the perfect way to round off the first day of musical entertainment at Glastonbury. I never realised just how many awesome songs Nile Rodgers had a hand in.
Dry the River
I Am Kloot
Of Monsters and Men
Mumford and Sons